- Published on 18 April 2016
“A total change in how signal processing is done,” said Søren Nielsen in a speech launching the new Oticon Opn product. “We have primarily used directionality to help people in background noise, but we are going to change.” Oticon Opn is, “A paradigm shift.”
During the first day of the American Academy of Audiology AudiologyNOW! conference Søren Nielsen (picture below) launched the latest innovation from Oticon to a room of financial analysts and journalists before taking to the exhibition floor with thousands of audiologists who were able to experience the product for themselves.
“This is a major step forward in technology and enduser benefits. With Oticon Opn, we have created a paradigm shift by overcoming a challenge that even the most advanced solutions of today haven’t been able to solve, namely the ability to handle noisy environments with multiple people speaking. In our commitment to People First, we have created the world’s best hearing aid, which every hearing impaired person should have to be able to interact actively in even the noisiest sound environments. This launch confirms Oticon’s position as the innovative industry leader in hearing care technology and audiology,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon.
According to Oticon, directionality as we know it has become a thing of the past as Oticon Opn introduces a breakthrough in handling multiple speakers simultaneously. Unlike previous directional systems that focus on one speaker, suppressing all others, Oticon Opn opens up the soundscape to encompass all speakers. The Opn miniRITE offers a complete shift in processing due to a new platform called Velox.The Velox chip processes sound 50 times faster than previous Oticon products, it does this across 64 frequency channels, analysing the environment more than 100 times per second. The chip has the capacity to handle more than 1,200 million operations per second and it has the world’s first TwinLink communication system which includes Near-Field Binaural Communication and 2.4GHz for connectivity.
OpenSound Navigator scans the environment 100 times per second to analyse the nature of the setting determining characteristics to see if they are important speech or noise sounds as well as their position, level and frequency in relation to each other. OpenSound Navigator is so fast that it can attenuate noise between words, including noise coming from the same direction as speech, in a 360˚radius. Spatial Sound LX works with OpenSound Navigator to provide binaural processing that is 200x faster to help locate where sounds are coming from.
This different way of processing sound is providing significant benefits to end users. Oticon studies are showing a reduced load on the brain with a 20% reduction in listening effort and users are able to remember 20% more of what is being said. End-users are experiencing 30% better speech understanding in noise compared to previous premium Oticon products.
Oticon Opn is the first dual-wireless communication system. TwinLink provides the benefit of streamer-free connectivity while ensuring high performing, binaural communication that works 200% faster than previous Oticon products. The direct streaming technology uses 2.4GHz Bluetooth Smart direct streaming for wireless communication. And last, but not least, Oticon Opn is the world’s first hearing aid that connects to the internet via the IF This Then That service (IFTTT). Users can connect to a wide range of IFTTT-enabled devices used in everyday life, particularly around the home.
“With TwinLink, Oticon Opn is the world’s first hearing aid combining the best of two worlds – a completely new Near Field system allowing much faster binaural processing and the best possible audiological performance combined with directly streaming 2.4 GHz technology. This makes Oticon Opn the leading hearing aid offering – second to none. Together with the If This Then That service, Oticon Opn enables users to connect to a world of endless opportunities,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon.
Photos: Oticon, V.A.